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Questions to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start reviewing your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on campus or online from home. After those selections have been made, you can start the procedure of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students limit their searches to the schools that are closest to Mesa AZ with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifiers, they are not the only ones. There are several additional issues that you must explore when assessing programs. To help you with that process, following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are thinking about before making your ultimate choice.
Is the Medical Assistant Course Accredited? There are several good reasons to make sure that the school you select is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps guarantee that the training you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you need to enroll in an accredited program. Two of the accepted agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these organizations, you will not be eligible to take the CMA exam. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as previously mentioned, many prospective Mesa AZ employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the School's Passage Rate? The majority of accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you must determine which of the certifications the schools you are considering are preparing their students for. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then obviously you will need to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school's passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. This is just one of the means to help evaluate the quality of a school's program. Naturally programs with lower rates are those that you will want to avoid.
Which Credentials are Available? As we previously covered, there are basically two routes to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, from as little as 6 months, however the average is about one year. Or you can choose to acquire an Associate Degree and get a more comprehensive education that will take about two years to complete in a community college or vocational school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the colleges you are reviewing offer the kind of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? A large number of medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Mesa AZ area medical providers. They are an excellent method to get hands-on practical experience and training. They may also assist students develop relationships within the Mesa health care community. And as an additional perk, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing that first job may be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they have some assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating provide job placement assistance in the Mesa AZ area and find out what their placement rate is. If a college has a high job placement rate for its students, it indicates that it has a good reputation within the medical community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of contacts to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classrooms? Class size may be an indicator of how much personal attention you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to offer increased access to instructors and one-on-one interaction. If convenient, try to attend a couple of classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full time, it's imperative that the school you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, confirm that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will still need to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the policy is for making up classes that you might have to miss because of work, illness or family responsibilities.